Internet Marketing woman posing with ready to ship products

Pushing Through Self-Doubt -The Rise of Spanx

There isn’t a woman alive that isn’t considering wearing Spanx tomorrow night under their LBD. Male or female entrepreneurs will identify with the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely’s, story of perseverance and self-doubt. There are some strong lessons that should be part of every entrepreneur’s success journey.

How to Steel Your Mind

Any red-blooded entrepreneur has encountered what Sara has – an amazing idea followed by that annoying little voice in the back of your mind telling you it’s a stupid idea and you’ll never pull it off. Sometimes these are the voices of people around us like spouses, family members, and friends. Pushing through self-doubt and lacking support systems are common back-stories for all of us. You are not alone.

The mindset we need to persevere is so important to our success. Often it’s more important than the idea itself. Sara’s story is amazing in that she had some pretty daunting obstacles – being young, female, men not taking her seriously, and not having any industry experience.

I have learned to shut down the voices and push on. It’s the same technique used in meditation when your head keeps chattering – acknowledge them and push on through. When confronted in person, I have mastered a convincing delivery of the phrase, “You know, you might be right. I’ll look into that.” Of course, I never do.

Coffee is for Closers

Coffee is for closers. And successes. Perseverance is one step in your entrepreneurial journey.

Sara credits her time cold-calling as a great learning experience. The word “no” can paralyze many entrepreneurs and fuel self-doubt. I completely agree. Everyone should sell for a living at least once. There is nothing a guru or masterclass can teach you that you won’t learn on your own when you have a quota to reach, a boss ready to put you on PIP [you sales pros know what this is – I’ll let the rest of you Google it so you learn] or rent to pay if you don’t make a sale. If you have avoided selling in your business and are not achieving success get some training. A great way to learn is to volunteer to solicit donations for your favorite charity organization.

Just like Alex Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross says – Coffee is for Closers.

The Real World Elevator Pitch

I personally hate networking events because everyone – and I mean everyone hasn’t learned the reality of a successful pitch. This is the best advice you could ever get. Sara sums it up well.

“If you’re only given 30 seconds or a minute to try to make your pitch, you need to also figure out how you can make it about who you’re presenting your idea to, and what’s in it for them.”

As a digital marketer, my entire job is about pitching to people I can’t see. I sum up learning to pitch online differently. No one cares about you and your business. They have been trained by society and Instagram to only care about things that benefit their values. You have 3 seconds – not 30. If you swing and miss, you won’t get another at-bat. It’s that simple. So you better get comfortable with a lot of “nos”. 

So while you’re out ringing in the new decade, looking fierce because of your Spanx, remember what it took Sara to get this product to you. Read the interview with her and the personal account on the 19th Anniversary of Spanx.